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Sowders, Deputy Martin S.

End of Watch: 
Friday, November 19, 1976
Clark County S.O.

On Thursday, November 18, 1976, Deputy Marty Sowders of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office was accidentally shot and killed by another deputy while arresting a robbery suspect.

At about 0902 hours, Larry William Edwards held up the Hazel Dell Hi School Pharmacy, north of Vancouver.  Edwards fled in a vehicle after stealing narcotics.

Moments later, deputies spotted the suspect vehicle and conducted a traffic stop at 78th Street and St. John’s Road in Hazel Dell.  Edwards, a convicted felon on parole from Walla Walla, refused to exit the vehicle and was observed popping pills.  After additional deputies arrived, they removed Edwards from the car.  During the struggle, one of the deputy’s pistol accidentally discharged. 

Deputy Sowders was struck in the right temple and died from his wound.

Deputy Sowders had served seven years with the agency and was survived by his wife and son.